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POINT OF VIEW: Back Into the Light

Sometimes life doesn’t work out like you hoped.

Such was the case for me this year with Pitch Wars, the mentoring contest I entered a couple months back.

I was so excited going in. I found some awesome mentors to pitch to, including one team that had a member right here in Sacramento – perfect, right? We could meet for long story discussions over coffee at Peets, and become best friends. My story seemed dead-on for what they were looking for, and I figured – at the very least – that I’d get a full manuscript request.

Then nothing happened. Nada. No requests, no communication at all. The announcement date rolled around, and I wasn’t a part of it.

Honestly, it was a long shot. I didn’t know quite how long it was going in. 3,500 authors would submit their works this year, and only 200 would get mentors.

So yeah, it was a long shot. But it doesn’t mean being rejected didn’t hurt.

Next up, #dvpit.

This day long diversity pitch event on Twitter seemed tailor-made for me. A bunch of agents looking for fiction peopled by diverse characters? Sign me up!

So I did my homework and prepped my tweets, and when the day came, I put myself out there again, figuring I’d get a few hits and have some agents to choose from.

I got one hit.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m grateful for it. But rejection is cumulative, and it never gets easier.

There’s one more event to go this year – #pitmad happens on Twitter a few days from now, so we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve pulled back a bit from writing.

We’re launching a new website, which takes tons of time and has given me a convenient excuse not to write for a few weeks. Ostensibly this is because I just don’t have the time.

But in part, it’s because I’m being a bit passive aggressive about the whole not-succeeding thing, and not writing for a little while feels strangely good, n a “fuck you, stupid publishing world” kinda way.

Sometimes we need to indulge our anger, our frustration, our why-the-hell-is-it-never-meisms. Sometimes it helps to wallow, just a little.

But I’m an optimist by nature, and I always manage to bounce back.

Sometimes the universe sends me a little help.

I just got one of the most beautiful reviews of my writing career. I have shared the details of this review elsewhere, but suffice it to say someone who read my book really got me, and my work lifted them up:

“This series buoyed me up, raised my spirits and left me looking towards tomorrow with resolve. I can give no higher praise.”

Sometimes you get validation just when you need it most.

This morning, my little writer brain kicked into gear again too, maybe anticipating this change in the wind, and started spinning out some ideas for new tales.

So maybe the universe is telling me something. Maybe it’s time to pick up the quill again and start down that golden path.

There will be plenty more disappointments along the way, of that I can be sure.

But for another review like that one? Maybe it’s all worth it.

For my writer friends – what pulls you out of the author doldrums?

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